Observations Atlantic crossing

The trouble with US military medicine

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39153.611111.59 (Published 15 March 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:565
  1. Uwe E Reinhardt, James Madison professor of political economy, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, United States ([email protected])

    Squalour at the Walter Reed Army Hospital shows how out of touch America's elites really are

    For over a week now, America has been forced to look into the mirror to discover that it has egg on its presumably noble face. According to several recent reports in the Washington Post, seriously wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Hospital are housed in rodent infested facilities with holes in the ceilings and paint peeling off the walls—right in the nation's capital, less than six miles from the White House. Meanwhile, a flood of reports from wounded soldiers and veterans elsewhere suggests that America, in too many instances, fails its wounded warriors and veterans in general.

    Americans never tire of professing in words their gratitude to the brave men and women who fight the nation's wars. Automobiles are adorned with $3 magnetic ribbons—made in China—exhorting the citizenry to “Support our Troops.” Immense praise is lavished on our warriors in virtually every speech by politicians or corporate executives of all ideological stripes. Finally, anyone …

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